Brooklyn Bridge Park, A Visitors Guide to New York's Newest Waterfront Park

Urbane Mother Nature: Stunning Views Plus Sports, Kid Fun, Concerts, Boating

Brooklyn Bridge Park, nestled on the shore of the East River across from lower Manhattan, is Brooklyn's newest large public park. And, it's spectacular, with a huge vista of New York Harbor, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, lower Manhattan, boat traffic on the East River, and of course, views of the Statue of Liberty.

And there's more: Brooklyn Bridge Park is a cultural and sports venue, with a lively calendar of concerts, summer outdoor movies, outdoor exercise classes, chess instruction, kayaking and more. 

Many Brooklyn residents haven't visited yet, but should. As for tourists, it's a must-see.

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    Why Visit Brooklyn Bridge Park

    ••• The Statue of Liberty seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo © Ellen Freudenheim

      Here are 8 good reasons to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park:

        • There are great views and photo ops.
        • It's an airy, open and modern space, different from 19th century Prospect and Central Parks.
        • You can attend free cultural events in a spectacular setting.
        • You can rent bikes here, play sports, jog and also relax.
        • There are bathrooms and excellent food concessions.
        • There's a wine bar.
        • It's Brooklyn's biggest waterfront park, and
        • It's growing! So there's something new going on all the time. 
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        How to Get to Brooklyn Bridge Park

        You can get there by car, bus, subway, bike, foot or, in summer, by ferry. If you're looking for a specific address or event, here are detailed directions to different sections of Brooklyn Bridge Park: Pier 1, Pier 6, and Main Street. 

         

           

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          PHOTO OP: Views of Manhattan,Statue of Liberty,Brooklyn Bridge, More

          ••• One of the two large lawns at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo © Ellen Freudenheim

          A good reason to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park is simply for the views, and of course, the photo opportunity. 

          Among other things, here's  what you can see:

            • The Manhattan skyline
            • The East River
            • Wall Street
            • South Street Seaport
            • NY Harbor
            • The Statue of Liberty
            • The Brooklyn Bridge
            • The Manhattan Bridge
            • Ferry boats, tug boats, sail boats, motor boats and other traffic on the East River
            • The Empire State Building, in the distance 

               

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              Getting Around Brooklyn Bridge Park

              This park is relatively narrow but quite long; when completed, it will sprawl along 1.3 miles from DUMBO to Atlantic Avenue. Even in its current incarnation, there's a lot to see. There's a section in DUMBO, called Front Street, as well as playgrounds that are a twenty minute walk away. So it's smart, especially if traveling with young children or the elderly, to plot out your itinerary. That way you can either get directly to where you are going, or make sure that you see it all! 

               

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              ••• Jane's Carousel, a colorful historic carousel. Photo © Ellen Freudenheim

              Opened in 2011, Jane's Carousel is a wonderful family attraction. The carousel is a restored 1922, 48-horse beauty that will be located in a central section of DUMBO. It was the first Carousel to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is housed in a pavilion designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel. The "Jane" in question is the wife of real estate tycoon David Walentas of Two Trees Management Company, the developer of much of modern DUMBO. Enter at New Dock Street or Main Street.

               

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              Family Programs & Activities for Kids

              ••• Brooklyn Bridge Park has 2 playgrounds. Photo © Ellen Freudenheim

              Tots will enjoy two great playgrounds with the world class views in Brooklyn Bridge Park.They can roll down grassy hills and hop along the walkways that go around in this park. Depending on when you visit, you might find:

              •  kayaking, sports and chess lessons in summer
              •  Easter egg hunt for children in spring
              •  sledding and snowman building in winter

              The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy runs a robust schedule of programming. Weekend family programs feature such topics as recycling, boats, storytelling, masks and solar power.T heir hands-on educational programs about the natural environment  are geared kids of all ages, from kindergarten through high school, and are used by public schools and summer camps.

               

                 

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                Pop Up Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park

                For a few summers you can enjoy a Pop Up temporary pool during the summer in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
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                Enjoy the concession food here: lobster rolls and Ditch Plains hot dogs. You can also stop in at the wine bar and have an elegant afternoon or evening drink with world class views. Get the scoop: Where to Eat in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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                What's Nearby? Fulton Ferry Landing

                Here are 5 reasons to appreciate tiny Fulton Ferry Landing:

                • Photos: it's a fabulous site for wedding photos, tourist photos, and scenic photos of New York City's skyline, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges
                • Ferries: Fulton Landing is a stop on the seasonal summer water taxi that runs to Governors Island, Manhattan, and Williamsburg
                • Antique Concert Barge: Fulton Landing is where New York City's only floating concert hall, BargeMusic, is permanently docked.
                • History: The Fulton Ferry first plied the waters between Brooklyn and New York.  George Washington escaped from the British during the Battle of Long Island, also known as the Battle of Brooklyn, during the Revolutionary War from a point near here.
                • Food: The River Cafe is located here, and, seasonally, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

                 

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                ••• Brooklyn Bridge from pedestrian path, heading to Manhattan. Photo © Ellen Freudenheim.

                Ah, the iconic, much-discussed, often-walked Brooklyn Bridge! If you're in Brooklyn Bridge Park, why not walk it?

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                What's Nearby? DUMBO

                DUMBO is literally one block away from Brooklyn Bridge Park. There's a lot to see and do here, from restaurants to boutiques to art galleries, the famous chocolate emporium Jacques Torres and more. Find out more about DUMBO.

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                What's Nearby? Brooklyn Heights

                Don't miss wonderful, landmarked Brooklyn Heights. Visit the Promenade, overlooking Brooklyn Bridge Park, the houses along historic Pierrepont Street, and the tiny homes on the fruit-named streets such as Pineapple and Orange Streets. Visit the Brooklyn Historical Society, and see the extraordinary architecture of the old Packer Collegiate Institute, elegant Brooklyn Borough Hall, and more.
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                Looking for a Breath of Fresh Air? Brooklyn Bridge Park's Breezy & Open

                Brooklyn Bridge Park is wide open, a bold swath of green on the East River waterfront that literally offers visitors a breath of fresh air, breezes and a lot of sky.

                A visit to Brooklyn Bridge Park is the perfect antidote to too many hours spent in front of a computer screen. It offers a real break from the congested streets of Manhattan and the cavernous alleys of nearby Wall Street. Airy, open, and filled with light, Brooklyn Bridge Park is the perfect yin to the yang of neighboring DUMBO, where hulking old warehouses are overshadowed by the vast structures of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

                 

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                Plans for Future Expansion of Brooklyn Bridge Park

                The creation of this spectacular park is the result of decades of local activism by Brooklyn residents who had a vision for transforming a dreary, underused waterfront into a spectacular urban space. It's been a labor of love, with many bumps in the road, spearheaded by the non-profit entity the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.Today, Brooklyn Bridge Park speaks for itself: it's a stunning addition to New York City's green public spaces, a legacy for the future.

                And, there's more to come. Two thirds of Brooklyn Bridge Park is slated to be complete by 2013, with future expansion and big plans ahead.

                Also see http://www.brooklynbridgeparknyc.org, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy website.